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A Luncheon Honoring Azim Khamisa


Azim headshotAzim Khamisa is an inspiration. Hailed by dignitaries such as the Dalai Lama, Former President Bill Clinton and Al Gore, Azim carries his inspirational message of forgiveness, peace and hope into a world in desperate need of each. Following the loss of his only son Tariq in 1995 to a senseless, gang-related murder, Azim chose the path of forgiveness and compassion rather than revenge and bitterness, and this amazing choice led to the establishment of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (www.TKF.org) and the subsequent forgiveness movement which has reached millions.

Azim Khamisa – author, activist and inspirational speaker – was born in Kenya, Africa and had early training in mathematics, economics and international finance. A successful international investment banker with over 35 years experience, he has conducted business in Africa, Middle East, Europe and Asia. A man always on the go, taking action for societal transformation, he is presently the Chairman, CEO and Founder of the Tariq Khamisa Foundation (TKF), President of the Child Safety Network (CSN) and Founder and National Director of the Constant And Never Ending Improvement (CANEI) program.

Committing his life to halting the continuing cycle of violence among the youth, Azim became a social activist after his 20-year-old son Tariq was senselessly murdered while delivering pizzas in January 1995 by Tony Hicks, a 14-year-old gang member. Out of unspeakable grief and despair, Khamisa was inspired to transform his loss through the miraculous power of forgiveness. Believing that there were “victims at both ends of the gun,” Azim forgave Tony and founded the Tariq Khamisa Foundation to break the cycle of youth violence by saving lives, teaching peace and planting seeds of hope in their future. A month after establishing the foundation, Azim invited Ples Felix, Tony’s grandfather and guardian, to join him. Together, since November 1995, the two have brought their story and message through TKF’s Violence Impact Forums. The duo has reached a half a million elementary and middle school children live and over 20 million via video programs, guiding the youth to choose a peacemaker’s life of non-violence and forgiveness. 

Because of his powerful story and message, Azim is a highly regarded and respected leader and a sought after speaker nationally and internationally. Having given 400 keynote address speeches all over the world – including an audience of 300,000 at the “Stand for Children” rally in Washington D.C. in 1996 – Azim has received more than 60 regional, national and international awards, including the National Crime Victims Special Community Service Award presented by President Bill Clinton and Attorney General Janet Reno, the prestigious “Search for Common Ground” international award for “Building Peaceful Communities” along with Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ted Koppel.

 Other recent awards include “California Peace Prize,” “Freedom Heroes Award,” “Death Penalty Focus Award” and “The Spirit of Crazy Horse Award,” the latter being given alongside Muhammad Ali. In June 2004, Azim participated in the Synthesis Dialogues, with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, held at the Pope’s summer residence in Castelgandolfo, Italy. Azim’s profound work has been featured in The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, People Magazine, Parade Magazine, Washington Post and U.S.A. Today, as well as on NBC’s Today Show, Nightly News, CBS’s Early Morning Show and KPBS’ Fresh Air.

A well-traveled, multi-lingual naturalized United States citizen, Azim serves on the Board of Directors of various non-profit and for-profit boards. He was inducted onto the Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Sponsors of Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. Azim is also the founder of the CANEI restorative program. Currently CANEI operates in Columbus, OH, Atlanta, GA, Chicago, IL and San Diego, CA.

A resident of La Jolla, California, Azim is also the proud father of Tasreen and the proud grandfather of Khalil, Shahin and Miya.

He is an award-winning author of the book: Azim’s Bardo – From Murder To Forgiveness – A Father’s Journey, following up this book in November 2007 with From Forgiveness to Fulfillment, showing the continued evolution in an unfolding story that is his path, his passion and his life. A third in the trilogy is From Fulfillment to Peace, which provides the final recipe for sustained peace. Published in 2009 by Random House was The Secrets of the Bulletproof Spirit: How to Bounce Back from Life’s Hardest Hits, coauthored with Jillian Quinn.

Says Azim, “We humans continuously confront defining moments in our lives. Sometimes these events are joyous; sometimes they are tragedies. At these moments it’s important to make the right choices. When we do, we are literally able to manifest a miracle and produce transformation in ourselves and others.”

October 1, 2014, 12:00 Noon

The Irvine Hilton, 18800 MacArthur Blvd.

Irvine, CA 92612

To reserve a Non-Member ticket ($45.00) you may write a check payable to

DFOC, PO Box 26708, Santa Ana, CA 92799

…or pay securely online at  


DFOC members RSVP here


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Orange County Register Quote On Norman Lear Event


Norman Lear PortraitThe following quotation is from The Orange County Register’s Martin Wisckol’s 08/25/14 column:

“[T]he well-heeled Democratic Foundation of Orange County hosted TV producer Norman Lear for dinner at the California Grand Hotel on Aug. 9 at $1,000 a plate. Eighteen attendees shared a table with Lear for an evening that foundation Chairman Dan Jacobson called ‘magical.’

‘“We wanted to honor him because he taught us so much,’ Jacobson said. ‘Through Archie Bunker, he taught us about bigotry and tolerance. Through ‘Maude,’ he taught us you don’t have to put up with sexism. I think he changed the spiritual DNA of America.”’

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